To carry on from the last post, I am going to write about pop(ish?) music, music videos, sparklers and of course, people dancing. This music video, although exuding the spunk and pleasure that can be attained from dance, is very different to Girl Walk // All Day, slightly more sombre and slower, the joy more subtle. (I came across it from fellow blogger shake it like a bowl of soup.) I’ve always absent-mindedly enjoyed the music of the Swedish electronic duo The Knife but the music video of their song ‘A Tooth For An Eye’ (off their new album, Shaking the Habitual) made me commit. It’s so nice.
The video begins with a bunch of men, all different ages and colours etc. in a gym locker room and of course, you know where it is going to go from there, with masculine man-pumping and some sort of sport awaiting us. But it doesn’t. Unexpectedly, a kind of lovely dance class happens, led by a young (very pretty, Lolita-like) girl. And they all dance, awkwardly and wonderfully, reminding me vaguely at times of the infamous Praise You video by Fatboy Slim, although it’s not in the least silly, you are not giggling, you are staring because somehow their frank dancing is absolutely beautiful. The girl leading the class is a powerful figure, too young (I think) to allow the power she emanates to be a sexual one, but rather of a certain undeniable confidence that reaches its peak just before the reality of teenage adolescence kicks in.
But what I love most about this video aside from of course, the choreography, cinematography etc. is the men dancing. I learnt a few years back, through the exposure to the choreography of Lloyd Newson (his works Enter Achilles and Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men, specifically) that I am apparently a sucker for groups of men dancing, a somehow expected and not particularly embarrassing thing for me, a self-proclaimed feminist, to admit. (No, I lie, I learnt this before Lloyd Newson, it began with my childhood obsession with the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers). In a dance world overflowing with female dancers, it is a slightly rare sight for me, an all male dance ensemble. It manages to create this gap in my general perception of men and men’s bodies, that allows them to be, in community, both physical and honest without trying to ‘win’ anything. And if done even remotely well, a group of men dancing always manages to say something interesting about gender. (A statement that is both completely untrue and absolutely right).
I really appreciate the grins and smiles of the men in this video during and before the dancing occurs. (Although again, it must be said that their dance is no joke but a serious and appreciated endeavour of physical movement.) Generally speaking, on screen, a group of men are very rarely portrayed smiling or laughing without a drink in hand. But here, there seems to be little agenda in their interactions and actions, their enjoyment of what is happening is pronounced and their sincerity apparent. I like it so much.
I wish these sort of occasions could occur more often in real life and that people would move about for the sake of moving about, differently to how they move in order to function. Bodies are capable of so much more than just existing. Anyway – enough. Here it is: (Be sure to read the short write up about the video – It’s lovely)